Since starting Little Miss Sew 'n' Sew I've really enjoyed providing children's sewing patterns and seeing all the lovely variations you all produce and hearing how you're learning to sew, one stitch at a time! I know my patterns aren't professional but I hope the step by step instructions offer you the ability to make an item for your little one and feel that sense of achievement in the finished product. Now, I don't have loads of experience in stitching adult clothing, I've loads of unfinished projects where I've attempted a pattern but the professional 'jargon' has finally stumped me and I've put aside to finish 'another day'. I don't want to be a professional seamstress, I sew to relax and to feel that sense of achievement in wearing an item and feeling great that it fits me and that I know its special as I chose the design and the fabric. So a couple of years ago I had ready about Tilly Walnes, I remembered her from a series of the Great British Sewing Bee so I bought her book as it looked fresh and modern. What a revelation! Tilly's patterns and instructions are just so clear and easy to understand, technical knowledge is not needed as any new techniques or technical words are explained, often with clear photographs (and Tilly always has a pretty colour on her nails - I love that!) That Christmas I made my Mum a skirt and she was thrilled with it! I've recently made myself one too out of Lewis & Irene's Down by the River fabric to wear when meeting Kirsty Allsop at the Handmade Fair!
I've really wanted to continue with the concept of supporting you all with easy to understand patterns to help you on your stitching journey however I just don't have the abilities to produce these patterns myself - I had a little brainwave - and I am now a very proud supplier of Tilly and the Buttons patterns!!
Tilly and the Buttons won gold in the British Sewing Awards 2016 for Best Pattern House, Best Sewing Blog and Favourite Sewing Personality. Tilly has said;
"I decided to rethink sewing patterns for a whole new generation - to give people a joyful experience learning to sew".
Perfect. There couldn't be a better suited brand for me to support and sell in the Little Miss Shop - I'm super excited. I've chosen four patterns to launch with - I really want you lot to get on board with this as I really want to buy more, it's an amazing range, I'd love to stock it all!! I'm launching with four patterns that I think are perfect for beginners as well as confident stitchers.. there's one that will introduce you to Jersey - not to be scared of I promise!
I'm going to test each pattern in a blog post and give you my honest opinion and any 'watch out's' I may come across. Each patten tested will be launched with an offer - buy the fabric and the Tilly and the Buttons pattern together to save yourself 20%.
The first pattern I have tried out is the ever so simple yet oozing with style (there's pockets - an instant hit in my book) the Dominique.
There's two variations that can be made. The straight skirt is designed to be super simple for beginners. It features straight seams to practice your stitching and an elasticated waistband for an easy fit - with no fiddly zips or buttonholes! Choose from knee length or above-the-knee hemline, and add the optional turnover top patch pockets.
The flared version of the skirt is slightly more challenging, as it's cut on the bias and a drapier fabric is suggested for a flowing silhouette. Choose from knee length or on-trend midi hemline, with optional turnover top pockets, belt loops and elegant sash.
What I immediately loved about the pattern is that conventional sizes are no where to be seen. In many sewing patterns you are advised to pick the size to cut based on your measurements. I'm quite often a size 10-12 in the shops, when measuring myself against a commercial pattern I usually find myself cutting anywhere between a size 14-18, it makes no sense! Tilly and the Button patterns range from a size 1 to a size 6, these are based on your body measurements and not your normal clothing size. For the straight skirt here I measured smaller on my waist than my hips, as the waist is elasticated I cut the skirt to the larger size knowing that the length of the elastic for the waist band will be based on my actual waist measurement. Now, I'm lucky that I have my own little fabric shop so a range of beautiful fabrics at my disposal, I chose to cut this pattern out of Dashwood Studio's White Seed from the stylish collection 'Copenhagen'
I considered cutting a contrast fabric for the pockets but decided to stick to the same to keep the skirt looking simple. I don't have a lot of experience with pockets but these were great to apply! Very well explained and a gorgeous variation, the whole pattern was a dream to follow and with the elasticated waistband it was so simple to construct, I'll definitely be making more of these in the future!
If you have sewn yourself garments before then I'd recommend giving this pattern a go, it can be a quick and satisfying make! And if you're a total beginner then this is the pattern for you - go on give it a go - Tilly and the Button patterns are the perfect way to build your confidence. You can buy the patterns individually here or the Dominique pattern is now available here with a choice of fabrics to save yourself 20% on the total cost.
Please share with me your makes, I'd love to see how you do! And if you have any questions along the way please use the comments option on this blog and I (or anyone else) will be there to support you along the way! Happy stitching xx